What are Bain Capital pre-MBA private equity associate interviews like?

I often respond to questions from readers on the private equity interview process. Here is a question I recently responded to:


Q: What are Bain Capital pre-MBA private equity associate interviews like? 

A: I worked for a Bain Capital PE spinout previously, which was basically a huge “team liftout” from Bain Capital and Bain & Company, including the head of worldwide HR at Bain Capital and the former chairman of the Bain Capital management committee. They adopted a lot of the same screening, hiring, and training techniques that Bain Capital did, and here is what I encountered in my interviews.

The process was structured over 3 rounds, with the type of people at each step and the kinds of questions asked varying between rounds. It consisted of a heavy combination of case interviews, technical finance questions, modeling tests, and personal fit interviews to test 6 things:

1. Financial modeling
2. Operational modeling
3. Macro / market due diligence
4. Strategic analysis (as tested through case interviews)
5. Creating slide presentations
6. Personality fit

Be sure to check out our PDF guide “How to Nail Your Private Equity Interview (whether you have finance training or not)” for in-depth tips and strategies on how to successfully interview for associate jobs at top PE firms like Bain Capital.

Also be sure to check out our step-by-step Private Equity LBO Modeling Training Videos for walk-through tutorials on how to build an LBO model, navigate Excel with ruthless efficiency, and rapidly create an LBO PowerPoint deck to present to your PE interviewers.

Andrew Chen

Andrew Chen received an associate offer, without any formal LBO experience, on his first attempt at applying for private equity investing positions in the competitive San Francisco Bay Area. He worked for Huntsman Gay Global Capital, the Bain Capital spin-out founded by the industrialist Jon Huntsman, former Bain Capital Chairman Bob Gay, former San Francisco 49ers Superbowl quarterback Steve Young, and including former CFO of Citigroup and American Express Gary Crittenden. Andrew was previously a member of the Corporate Finance & Strategy Practice at McKinsey & Company and holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School. You can follow him on Twitter and .

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